People aren't great at judging risks. Example: Lichtenstein et al. (1978) Judged Frequency of Lethal Events https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232557428_Judged_Frequency_of_Lethal_Events Hence, we should not rely on our "gut", better to use numbers! De Veaux and Velleman (2009) Math is Music, Statistics is Literature : http://springssoft.com/downloads/Reading_Journals/Essays/Mathmusic.pdf The idea here: it takes a while, and experience, to develop the skills/thinking necessary to be good at statistics. It is more common to find mathematical prodigies. (As to the analogy between math and music, that's a shade more iffy. At the very least, I think this refers mostly to Western classical music. Hindustani music/jazz has fewer prodigies -- musicians tend to reach their peaks relatively late in life in these forms of music.) Daniel Bernoulli's work in the 1800s on maximizing expected utility: https://web.stanford.edu/~jdlevin/Econ%20202/Uncertainty.pdf Daniel Ellsberg: Ellsberg's paradox (1961) suggests that people are averse to ambiguity. No utility function is consistent wit h the choice that people make.